Commentary

Want To Reach Moms? Celebrate Imperfection, Authentically

Motherhood is as old as time. And so is perpetuating the myth of the perfect mother. Whether a stay-at-home mom or a work-away-from-home mom, most women do not relate to the flawless and faultless mother archetype that media and advertising continue to exalt.

According toMintel’s research, “fewer than half of moms with kids in the household say they see themselves in the moms portrayed in advertising. This shows that many brands are missing the mark when they target moms.” Saatchi & Saatchi, in its global study of moms, estimates that about one billion mothers worldwide feel that marketers do not understand them nor speak to them in an authentic way.

Here’s the authentic reality: we’re all winging parenting most of the time. Motherhood (and fatherhood to be fair) doesn’t come with an instruction manual. The savviest brands today have picked up on this sentiment, producing some of the most memorable and relatable campaigns as of late — like the one from Chat Books or Organic Balance’s Real Morning Report. These brands have taken the first steps toward establishing an authentic rapport with their audience, laying the groundwork for meaningful engagement with their consumers.

Authenticity Cuts through the Clutter

Getting real gets noticed — an important tactic in a time when consumers are increasingly advertising-blind (a condition to which Millennials are even more prone). Determined to control their content consumption,64% of Gen Y admit to using ad blockers across their devices, says eMarketer. And according to BabyCenter 21st Century Moms Insights series, 70% of ever-harried Millennial moms say they are more likely to skip commercials since having become a mother. Brands that grab their attention will be those whose authenticity aligns with the wants, needs, and cares of the modern mom. In their case, it’s presenting an honest and direct portrayal of motherhood that signals “This brand gets it and gets you.” Hungry for advice, Millennials will turn tocontent from brands they trust for parenting guidance, according to a Google/Ipsos study. When consumers trust the source and identify with the content, they are more likely to engage with it and share it with others.

Provide a Sisterhood Around Motherhood

Moms just want to be the best mom that they can be — and they want to be able to talk honestly about their struggles, questions, triumphs, and Pinterest fails in a safe space. They want to know that they are not alone. And while they will look first to family and friends for advice, they will seek out communities of like-minded mothers for backup support. At a time in our culture where many mothers find themselves geographically distanced from close family, it is a chance for brands to fill an emotional gap with a branded online community. Through it, the brand itself can emerge as a trusted friend, bringing together other friends to share in the motherhood journey - a place where endorsement of the common brand ‘friend’ is a natural part of a relatable and unforced relationship.

The time is ripe for CPG marketers to seize the opportunity as mothers are actively seeking those spaces. BabyCenter’s insights show that almost eight out 10 of mothers said that they more often use parenting communities for brand and product recommendations since having children – more than Youtube (23%) Instagram (24%), Facebook (33%) or Pinterest (49%). Another study by market research firm Trybe found that74 % of millennial moms have greater trust in online communities than brand advertisements when it comes to seeking product information. Brands that provide a welcome place for authentic interaction and meaningful connection can spark lasting advocacy and ongoing engagement with moms who come to view the brand as essential to the parenting experience.

As I travel the country talking to marketers about building their own communities of advocates, I have learned that the most successful communities are built around passion. And frankly, speaking as a mom of three young children myself, there’s no greater passion than the love for one’s children. Even when I feel like I’m winging it.

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